A Song for Garden Lovers to the tune of ‘Vogue’
“Oxford, Edinburgh, London Too
Buckfast Abbey we love you!
Gardens with an attitude,
Fountains that were in the mood
Don’t put heels on, let’s jump to it
Wear a brogue brogue brogue!”
In addition to communities who support Physic Gardens through the ages, another safety net that allowed the gardens we enjoy to today to flourish came in the shape of Henry VIII son who offered a Sixteenth Century Safety Net for the Monasteries.
The cold fog of a Scottish morning doesn’t clear for long during the reign of Henry VIII’s only son, Edward VI. In the mid 1500’s young Edward calls for a war on Scotland. He is nine years old. It is a fair assumption his advisors have mapped out the plans for England during the young boys reign. Edward does not last long as he is wiped out by an illness at age 15 leaving strict instructions that his cousin Lady Jane Grey and neither of his half sisters (Elizabeth and Mary) should get the throne. His wishes do not come true but he plants a seed that will remain dormant for 100 years until travel allows Enlightenment to come home with the rich young men who take the Grand Tour of Europe.
Edward VI, Henry VIII loyal son, moves forward with a higher form of protestant religion claiming his father never allowed Catholicism to be renounced. There is now room for the monasteries his father dissolved to be preserved. The re-piecing together of the ruins is no longer heretical and this early example of a garden being restored is seen in the old Grey Friars Church on London’s Newgate St. Edward VI organises for a benefactor to fund Christ Church Hospital and use the land as a garden for medical students.
One of Edward’s advisors Thomas Seymour is thought to be smuggling pocket money to the young king and possibly looked for leverage as Seymour came from a protestant household that included Edward’s cousins. The gardens thrived again after the Soldiers Edward had sent to Scotland were pulled out. Seymour, the advisor to the King, favoured this.
The throne would alternate between Protestant and Catholic monarchs until the end of the 17th Century (James II Catholic reign ended in 1701) and due to Edward VI’s foresight in stressing his father never wanted Catholicism to be renounced, any further destruction of monasteries was halted and the gardens allowed to flourish.
Enjoy other lyrics re-written by bloggers here